running blog


The wine won


My gym this morning. I can’t complain about that, nor the fact that is was a lovely warm day, even if I was wilting in the sun at 9 in the morning. It’s amazing the power of very simple exercises, burpees (again), squats and shuttle runs put together and performed in sets of intense blasts of 45 seconds with only 10 seconds rest between to reduce me to a quivering wreck. Some very simple Pilates core exercises were equally innocent looking but had me melted into the grass.

I was thinking of adding an easy run around the block tonight, after a boring day working at my PC, but distractions by my sons, both taking exams, and both in need of encouragement to do a little preparation led me to a glass of white at 6pm instead. I will make up for it tomorrow. Famous last words.

Juneathon day 4. 1 hour PT session. (Some running involved.)


No running, no blogging

Oops it’s been a while since I last blogged.

It’s because I haven’t been running and when I can’t run I get grumpy and listless and don’t feel like writing, nor much else for that matter.  Anyway, if I did blog it would be pretty dull and all about my whinges, whines and injury woes so you haven’t missed much.

So I’m all cured and back running?  Not quite.

I haven’t run for over 2 weeks and a painful test mile last weekend made it clear that I shouldn’t run 3 miles let alone 13.1.  No Portsmouth Coastal Half Marathon for me this weekend.  I had hoped to be able to run it slow as a training run but there’s a big difference between being under trained and unable.  This race must be jinxed for me! I entered it last year and never made it because of family commitments.  Better luck next year – I really do intend to run it one day!

I’ve kept busy with cross training to keep up my efforts to lose weight as well as keeping up some level of fitness.  I’ve swum, had some  TRX PT sessions and made it to my first ever spin class.  Now I know why I run and don’t cycle! I’m uncoördinated enough on a static bike!

I’ve treated my injury, (piriformis pain) with sports massage, ice, heat and stretching plus my PT sessions have concentrated on stretching and strengthening my hips, glutes and legs.  The exercises have certainly helped. The day after a particularly tough PT session I foolishly took my wobbly legs to a spin class.  Afterwards was agony! However the more all the other muscles in my bum and thighs hurt the less pain from my piriformis.

My next Half Marathon is now Bath in 2 weeks.  I was beginning to panic about being ok to run this one as well, especially after a bad mile run test on Sunday.  Today, however, suddenly the dagger pain in my bum has been replaced by a dull ache.  I don’t know which of the various treatments has been useful or even if it is just my piriformis has finally relaxed after time but for a few easy warm up runs things felt better and I’m feeling optimistic.

Don’t worry I won’t do anything foolish, like dashing out a 10 miler or anything.  I still plan to swim and spin this week and start building up the running slowly.

Hopefully for the second time I will learn my lesson and start doing all my stretches and strength exercises regularly. AND keep doing them when I get back on form and not waiting until I’m injured again.


Mixing it up

This Janathon has not gone as well for me as the last two. I’ve not run as many miles and for the first time I’ve not run at all on some days. This is partly due to a silly rib injury, the snow and ice, recently having a cold and now a bit of a glute muscle pull. Excuses aside, the main reason is I’m in a rut. My running is feeling stale, plodding out the same old routes at ever decreasing speeds and coasting along in my comfort zone at BMF.

I’ve enjoyed running with friends and have entered plenty of races to have goals and outings to look forward to and keep up my motivation. However I need to change my exercise routine and think a bit smarter about training for my next marathon. I’m also struggling to shift a half stone of excess weight and know that unless I challenge my body with something different and push myself a bit it’s not going to be easy to lose.

I thought about re-joining the gym or getting a personalised running program but in the end I decided to get some 1 on 1 PT sessions where I get pushed and have no opportunities to slack off and go get a coffee. We are going to work on my strength and flexibility, which hopefully along with loosing a few pounds will help me get faster. We’re also going to have a look at my diet and see if I need to make any changes. I know I could do with some help for nutrition when training because I either under eat trying to diet, so can’t run well, or overdo the carb loading and gain weight. (Oops time to write my food diary and own up to all those glasses of wine!)

Janathon day 29. PT session. 1 hour including plyometric exercises and TRX, with no hiding, resting, or excuses, definitely being moved out of my comfort zone.


Waiting Rooms

This morning I spent far too long sitting in a hospital waiting room while youngest son was having his teeth cast, measured photographed and X-rayed by a trainee orthodontist. As usual the danger with me being at a loose end, is I start thinking. My thoughts concentrated on the fact that I was wasting much of the day when I could be getting on with work, my to-do list, christmas shopping or going for a run. And I’d missed my BMF class!

However, one thing I decided I could have used that time productively for, is to do my daily exercises which I have undertaken to complete everyday in December. It’s a challenge/committment from the twitter community and shared with some of my running buddies. It’s early days to know whether I’m getting any benefit from (minimum) 1 minute holding the plank, 10 press-ups, 50 squats and 50 lunges each day. However the discipline of doing something every day (and the added reminders and support from twitter) is also encouraging me to add the exercises my physio gave me after my recent injury.

So, was I brave enough in a busy waiting room to quietly assume the plank position, complete 10 press-ups, 50 squats and lunges? I’m afraid not… even after twitter encouragement of ‘risky’ planking and talk about being the first person to be run over (by a toddler in a plastic car) or used as a coffee table while completing their #plankaday!

Joking aside, why not? why is it that seeing someone exercise in certain situations is considered odd? Looking around the waiting room I couldn’t see a single adult (including me) who wouldn’t benefit from a little more activity. Maybe it’s time group exercises in waiting rooms caught on…


I didn’t think I’d ever say this, but..

For an outdoors running preferring, BMF addicted person I was fairly impressed (by a gym)!

Having recently rejoined the gym I was invited for the usual quick-start session with a member the gym staff to familiarise me with the equipment and give me a personal programme. I have to admit I was sceptical because the last time I went to such a session at another gym brand I was very unimpressed by the spotty youth who gave me the speeal and appeared to understand a lot less than I did about fitness and was also in need of the gym for a little fat burning even more than me!

However I’ve joined up at Virgin Active for a couple of months while I get my hip problems sorted (so I can swim in a clean pool) and went along yesterday to see what they could offer. I also thought it would be a good ice breaker for me and give me confidence in the gym using the machines I’ve not used in years since I used to go there when my kids were toddlers (anything to get an hours peace while they went in the crèche!).

I was asked my motivation for joining (help I’m getting fat!), fitness goals and weighed (oops) and measured (am 1cm shorter than I’ve been claiming for the last x years). Emma asked informed questions about my injury and physio and took on board my need for maintaining my cardio fitness without impact, suggesting cycling and cross trainer intervals and the use of TRX training for strength work (to support my running). She tested how long it took to me to cycle 1km, how many bench squats and press ups I could do in one minute so I had something to gauge progress against as well as body measurements.

I thought TRX was brilliant! Using straps suspended from the ceiling you do the standard strength exercises for upper body, core and legs (triceps and chest pulls, plank, squats lunges etc) pulling against your body weight for resistance. It gives an intense workout and I certainly felt the one leg squats and the lunges the next day even after plenty of rolling and massaging.

I left looking forward to getting back to the gym and started on my programme.

Today I had another Physio session. This time it was not symptom relief (to ease the painful tight bits) but in the gym to learn exercises to strengthen and correct my body alignment. It was interesting that some of the exercises I need to do are some I was given at the gym (one leg squats and lunges) but with an emphasis on keeping my feet knees and hips in line and my pelvis horizontal. Ouch ouch! I also got to use the torture table (I think those in the know would call it a Pilates table) for lots of core and hip exercises and simulating running while using the mirror to keep my core locked straight and not twisting and turning). (Usain Bolt is apparently a perfect example of running keeping core perfectly still – need to go watch him slow motion on U tube).

This evening although my glutes, inner and outer thighs are screaming from all the hard work I am feeling very positive that’s it’s all working really well and hopeful that I really can run the Royal Parks Half Marathon. Just as well because my race pack arrived today!


And.. when on my way out to the shops this afternoon I sprinted without thinking to catch the pedestrian crossing. And it DIDN’T HURT!!


Got the T shirt but won’t be going there…

I got back to London to find that my race pack had arrived for Run to the Beat, the first of the 3 Half Marathons I have entered this Autumn. It includes a great T-shirt which focussed my mind that the race is 3 weeks on Sunday and I will not be able to run it.

My getting back to running after injury has stalled and I can’t yet run totally pain-free. A mile or two hobbling along slowly is about tops for now so no return to BMF yet for me and certainly no parkruns. (Insert sad face here). I am planning to seek more advice from another Physio next week and hope that I can at least contemplate taking part (slowly) in either or both of the Royal Parks Half and Great South Run in 5 and 8 weeks time.

I have also taken the rash step of temporarily re-joining the Notting Hill ‘Yummy Mummies’ gym (on a month by month basis) which I left 6 years ago when I discovered BMF. At least I can vent my frustrations there attempting to remember some of the finer points (breathing) of front crawl and have a go at spinning. OH was sceptical, reminding me that I never really enjoyed going there and used to be scathing about the unfriendliness of the majority of the other gym users. However, since then I’ve been toughened up by BMF so they will have to put up with the fact that I talk, (‘Morning!’), make eye contact and smile at them. At least it’s some form of exercise to try to maintain a bit of fitness (and avoid too much fatness) until normal running is resumed. Might also give me something interesting to blog about too!